Armed robbery investigation leads to arrest of Clark resident

CRANFORD — Yesterday, Cranford Police detectives arrested William Black, 24 of Clark, and charged him with robbery and weapons possession in connection with an incident that occurred the previous evening.

On Jan. 14, at approximately 8:07 p.m., Cranford Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at H & B Shell, 1170 Raritan Road. According to a gas station employee, a white male wearing all black clothing, entered the service station attendant booth and demanded cash while brandishing a knife.

After taking approximately $100, the suspect fled the area on foot across Raritan Road towards Clark. Police from both towns checked the surrounding area, but were initially unable to locate the suspect.

Detectives Ryan Greco and Spencer Durkin, assisted by Det. George Marmarou of the Clark Police Department, conducted a follow-up investigation and identified a potential suspect that resided several blocks from the scene.

Yesterday, Det. John Swandrak canvassed the route the male took when he fled the scene and located footprints leading towards the house of the previously identified suspect. At approximately 1:15 p.m., Swandrak and Durkin located the suspect, Black, near his home and arrested him on an unrelated local arrest warrant.

Following an investigation at Cranford Police Headquarters, detectives positively linked Black to the service station robbery. He was charged with robbery, a second degree crime, and weapons possession, a third degree crime.

Cranford Police Chief Eric Mason stated that the quick arrest was the result of cooperation between Cranford and Clark detectives. “Unfortunately, crime often transcends local borders,” he said. “Only through teamwork and the sharing of information will the police obtain an advantage over the criminals.”

Black remained in police custody in lieu of $50,000 bail and is scheduled for a first appearance in superior court on Jan. 17.